Do You Have the Soft Skills Every Job Hunter Needs?

Michael Scott (Steve Carrell), world's most awkward boss

Have you been watching the show “Royal Pains,” where Hank and his brother, Evan, run HankMed, a concierge doctor service in Florida? They just hired a new doctor who, in the scope of one show, inadvertently insulted a patient, revealed way too much personal information about himself to a new colleague, and awkwardly conducted himself in every interaction. You could say he does not have many soft skills!

“Soft skills” refer to a cluster of personal qualities, habits, attitudes and social graces that make someone a good employee and compatible to work with. Companies value soft skills because research suggests and experience shows that they can be just as important an indicator of job performance as hard skills.

For example, one soft skill that we often take for granted is good communication skills–not just speaking, but being a good listener as well. Are you able to express what you need concisely? Can you argue your point articulately? Does the way you communicate form connections with coworkers, clients, and vendors?

Many employers are wisely employing behavioral interview questions, based on the premise that the way you’ve behaved in the past will predict your future pattern of performance on the job. This means that in your interview, you’ll need to be prepared to articulately “tell about a time when … ” and think on your feet to tailor your answer to how your experience fits the needs of the open position. In your answers, you’ll want to demonstrate that you have the soft skills that will help you build relationships and get along with people in your future workplace.

You may be confident about your job skills, but how about your soft skills? Before you go out to your next interview, read this article by Kate Lorenz of to see what else employers are looking for.

By Marcianne Kuethen

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